REUTERS WORLD NEWS: Ukraine-Putin Open to Talks, China Relaxing Covid Rules, Biden Hosts Macron, World Cup Latest, More

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The Reuters Daily Briefing

Friday, December 2, 2022

by Linda Noakes


Here’s what you need to know.

We go inside China’s fight over the future of zero-COVID, Macron is wined and dined at the White House, and Twitter suspends Kanye’s account again

Today’s biggest stories

A man pets a dog while communicating target coordinates gleaned from drones to fellow service members in the field with the 24th Mechanized Brigade of King Danylo of the Ukrainian Army near Bakhmut, December 1, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis


Russian President Vladimir Putin is open to talks on a possible settlement in Ukraine but the West must accept Moscow’s demands, the Kremlin said, a day after U.S. President Joe Biden said he would be willing to speak with Putin on ending the war. Here’s what you need to know about the conflict right now.

Further easing of COVID testing requirements and quarantine rules in some Chinese cities was met with a mix of relief and worry, as hundreds of millions await an expected shift in national virus policies after widespread social unrest. We look at the fierce debate over the future of the zero-COVID policy, with anger over lockdowns but also fears about opening up.

Senior officials in South Africa’s ruling African National Congress were gathering to decide whether President Cyril Ramaphosa should stay on after an inquiry found evidence of misconduct over cash hidden at his farm.

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu reached a coalition deal with the far-right Religious Zionism party, bringing him closer to securing a new government after an election last month.

Indonesia’s parliament is expected to pass a new criminal code this month that will penalize sex outside marriage with a punishment of up to one year in jail, officials have confirmed.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcome France’s President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron at the North Portico of the White House, December 1, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz


Biden rolled out the red carpet for celebrities, lawmakers, and titans of industry at the White House’s first state dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron. The dinner was the crowning social event of a trip aimed at showing Biden’s commitment to Washington’s oldest ally.

A U.S. appeals court dealt a blow to Donald Trump, reversing a judge’s appointment of an independent arbiter to vet documents seized by the FBI from his Florida home and allowing all of the records to be used in a criminal investigation of the former president.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear Biden’s bid to reinstate his plan to cancel billions of dollars in student debt after it was blocked by a lower court in a challenge by six states that have accused his administration of exceeding its authority.

A conservative, rural Arizona county that had defied a state deadline to certify its November 8 midterm election results relented after a judge said state law required the approval.

Biden is pushing for South Carolina to host the first Democratic presidential primary, aiming to usher more diversity into the party’s campaigns to lead the country, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.


U.S. job growth was likely the smallest in nearly two years in November as mounting worries of a recession cooled demand for labor, which could give the Federal Reserve confidence to start slowing the pace of its interest rate hikes this month.

Recession of some sort next year is fast becoming consensus – to such an extent that financial markets could find themselves whiplashed if it doesn’t materialise, says Reuters columnist Mike Dolan.

China has ordered its top four state-owned banks to issue offshore loans to help developers repay overseas debt, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, in Beijing’s latest support measure for the cash-starved property sector.

Blackstone limited withdrawals from its $69 billion unlisted real estate income trust after a surge in redemption requests, an unprecedented blow to a franchise that helped it turn into an asset management behemoth.

Florida’s chief financial officer said his department would pull $2 billion worth of its assets managed by BlackRock, the biggest such divestment by a state opposed to the asset manager’s ESG policies.


Regulators must step in to protect crypto investors after the collapse of FTX, financial industry executives and lawmakers said at the Reuters NEXT conference this week, the latest call for tougher oversight of a sector prone to meltdowns.

A global slowdown in initial public offerings due to heightened market volatility and a regulatory cloud over new listings from China has created pent-up demand that could lead to an IPO boom in 2023, industry executives said.

With central banks ratcheting up their response to a global inflation shock, debate is shifting from when they’ll win the war to whether faster rising prices are here to stay in a supply-constrained world.

The global energy crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine has underscored how parts of the renewables supply chain might face similar struggles if not quickly diversified, energy executives told the conference.

The world’s poorest countries now owe $62 billion in annual debt service to official bilateral creditors, an increase of 35% over the past year, World Bank President David Malpass said, warning of the risk of defaults.


Germany’s dream in tatters, tears of joy in Japan, and who could win the Golden Boot?


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